2018 Friel-Scanlan Lecture
Constructing Norms for Global Cybersecurity
Presented by Professor Duncan Hollis
About the Presentation
Cybersecurity has become a priority as States and non-State actors have launched cyber-operations stealing data from billions, shutting down hospitals and power grids, and influencing domestic political processes. In looking for solutions across this threat matrix, States and other stakeholders have increasingly turned to norms as their regulatory tool of choice. Conventional wisdom holds that having shared expectations of appropriate behavior or “rules of the road” will improve the security and stability of cyberspace. To date, proponents of new cybernorms have focused on content: the behaviors that norms require or prohibit. Little attention has been paid to how new norms actually work – how any agreement on normative behavior becomes operationalized or internalized within a targeted community.
Drawing on extensive social science research, Professor Hollis’s presentation will discuss the processes by which norms form, spread, and create effects in the world, and show how those processes ultimately feed-back on themselves to shape norms’ contents. Applying these insights to cybersecurity, Professor Hollis will identify a number of key strategic trade-offs involved in the processes for constructing new cybernorms—trade-offs that may serve as both a caution and guide to those seeking to cultivate such norms.
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